By Bobby Curtis, August 2, 2022
By Bobby Curtis, August 2, 2022
In 2010 I did a short-term work assignment in Switzerland with the company I was working for at the time. I lived and worked there for about five months. For someone like myself who loves to travel, it was ideal. I temporarily left Indianapolis, where I lived at the time, packed a few bags, and rented a fully furnished flat in a walkable area of Geneva. I was walkable to downtown, Lake Geneva, and the train station where I took a short train to work.
The furnished apartment was a little like corporate housing. Inside it was fairly basic. They provided all of the essentials, but nothing stood out as exceptional about the place itself. Today, corporate housing looks different, and has expanded to more people. They are better known as midterm rentals, and have platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and Furnished Finder. Because of that it’s easier for home owners to rent their own properties out for a month or longer. Plus, these places tend to have much more style and character. These property owners are enchanting their guests to come stay at their place for a few months with their Pinterest-quality posts.
With the pandemic, came many people working from home for the first time ever. For some that meant all-day zoom meetings, kids and dogs hijacking calls, and not enough in person socialization. Some were eager to get back to the office. While others thrived with the work flexibility and getting more accomplished in their own working environment, wherever that happened to be. As most of us realize now, many have been called back to the office, but just how many haven’t been?
Mckinsey and Company, one of the largest global management consulting firms, published a study in June 2022 based on a survey of 25,000 Americans in the Spring 2022. Respondents worked in all kinds of jobs, in every part of the country and sector of the economy, including traditionally labeled “blue collar” jobs that might be expected to demand on-site labor as well as “white collar” professions, and found that 35% of job holders could work from home fulltime. You can read the full article here.
With that new found knowledge, several people are moving or moving temporarily, and staying in a midterm rental. A friend of mine working for Nike moved to Mexico just for fun when she found out she didn’t have to return to the corporate office in Beaverton. I had clients from Durango, CO, this year who work for Tesla, who were able to move parttime to Portland, close to their daughter and new grandchild because of their new work flexibility. Interestingly, I met these clients because they found my own midterm rental online last summer, and rented it for a couple of months while they were exploring Portland.
In 2020 I decided to renovate side by side townhouses, furnish them, and rent them out for month or longer stays. Since that time, it has been rented about 95% of the time it’s been available. There are many advantages to midterm rentals. Less turn over, and fewer guests to coordinate is one of the biggest ones. But, it can also be available for personal or friend/family use, and there are some good tax advantages that you can talk with your accountant about.
That first year, I had just 5 guests ranging from one to five months, and was able to block out time for personal use if I wanted. Providing a place in a great area of NE Portland, the Alberta Arts area, these townhouses have attracted not just people who can work from home or another location; but those moving to Portland who need short term housing while they look for something permanent, locals renovating their current home, even students who are able to study remotely and traveling healthcare professionals.
As an investor, myself, I stay on top of what is happening in real estate. From house flipping to long term rentals, to short and now midterm rentals. In my opinion, this newer type of investment strategy is in the beginning stages of taking off.
To see more on the side by side townhouses I remodeled, and now rent as midterm rentals, check it out here.